Quick Recipes and Easy

Gyros — What Is This Greek Specialty Sandwich?

First and most importantly, it’s pronounced “yee-ro.”

Gyro meat is roasted on a vertical rotisserie and served on a pita with various toppings. The spiced meat is often a combination of lamb, beef, pork and chicken. It is most often topped with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce, which is a mixture of yogurt, cucumbers, onion and garlic.

The gyro is traditionally a Greek food, but is served all over the world. In Greece, gyro meat is most popularly pork or beef and the sandwich is served with french fries. In the U.S., gyros are made most often with lamb and the tzatziki sauce is often called “cucumber sauce.” The U.S. version of the sandwich is often over-stuffed, making it hard to eat without being a bit messy.

The gyro sandwich is also well loved in France and Australia. Many countries call gyros by another name. Yiros in South Australia, churrasco grego (or Greek barbeque) in Brazil, doner in Turkey, taco el pastor in Mexico, kebab in Malaysia, and even in Athens, Greece, the term souvlaki is synonymous with gyro.

Although the origins of the Greek specialty are not known, the “father of the Gyros” is considered to be George Apostolou or “Papa George” who was the first man to successfully market and promote the food. He brought the sandwich to the United States in 1965, to a restaurant in Chicago, Illinois. Soon other restaurants became interested in serving the sandwich and eventually George sold his restaurant to start Central Gyros Wholesale, a manufacturing company that sold its gyro sandwiches to food-serving establishments across the country.

Once a regional delicacy, the gyro sandwich is quickly popping up everywhere as new restaurants catch on to the craze. Now you can visit nearly any diner, honest, café, restaurant, etc., and find gyros on their menu. Just remember to pronounce it correctly when you order.

Tonia Jordan is an author on Writing.Com/ Writing.com
which is a site for Writing.Com/ Writers.

She is also a stringer for the Standard Speaker, a Pennsylvania newspaper, and is editor of Word of Mouth Magazine.



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